LoHud scorecard: Doc rocks, but Ruby Dee and Alan Menken miss out

oscar21.jpgThere were mixed results from last night’s Oscars as far as local representation was concerned.

North Salem resident and New Rochelle native Alan Menken’s Oscar drought continues. Although he received three Best Song nominations for his contributions to “Enchanted,� it’s likely his supporters split votes, allowing for a song from the movie “Once� to win the trophy. Although he hasn’t won an Oscar since 1996, don’t feel too bad for Menken. He’s won eight total.

New Rochelle resident Ruby Dee also lost out on an Academy Award this Sunday. The “American Gangster� actress lost the Best Supporting Actress award to Tilda Swinson, who won for her role in “Michael Clayton.� And not for her dress.

The Lower Hudson Valley wasn’t completely shut out, however, as Croton native Cynthia Wade not only won the Short Subject Documentary Oscar for “Freeheld,� but also was presented the trophy by two-time Oscar-winner Tom Hanks. In doing so, Wade beat out another LoHud product. “Salim Baba� director Francisco Bello, who graduated in 1998 from Ossining High School.

Academy Awards Hangover: The boringest Oscars show ever?


Aside from Jon Stewart’s monologue and the Jonah Hill/Seth Rogan-Halle Berry/Judi Dench bit, it was kind of like watching “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End”—I really wanted to enjoy it, to believe it was worth the hype, but it just seemed to drag and drag. And, of course, it was utterly predictable.

OK, so maybe Marion Cotillard was a surprise, but were any of the others? Maybe I’m a little bitter that Hal Holbrook and Ruby Dee ended up empty-handed (even though I did pick Tilda Swinton), or maybe it’s just that the supposedly “shortened” clip-reels from past ceremonies padded the show with what felt like a half-hour of filler (loved the Jon Stewart tributes to “binoculars and telescopes” and “bad dreams,” though). Bottom line: I’m kinda wishing I’d spent the night watching the latest installment of “The Wire” instead.

A few more random thoughts on the evening:

cynthia-wade.jpg• Go Cynthia Wade! The one true silver-lining moment of the evening for me was when the Croton native (pictured here, on the left) won the award for Best Documentary Short Subject. In case you haven’t seen our RNN Oscar Special yet, Karen DePodwin has an outstanding interview and profile of Wade — in full Oscar-preparation mode. Skip about 1/4 of the way through the full video to watch it.


• Was it just me, or did Denzel Washington look royally pissed off to be presenting Best Picture? And really, can you blame him? The Mount Vernon native got snubbed for not one, but two films (“American Gangster” and “The Great Debaters”). I can’t speak to the latter, but for my money, the former was easily as good as any of the actual Best Pic nominees.

ruby-dee.jpg• Boy, did New Rochelle’s Ruby Dee look shocked after they played the clip of her slapping Denzel in “American Gangster”? As she watched from her seat, the expression on her face seemed to say: “That was me in that movie? Damn, I’m good!”

• Nobody was more uncomfortable in their attire than Diablo Cody. As she walked away from the podium after accepting Best Original Screenplay, with the slit in her dress riding up waaay too high, the only thought running through her head: I knew I shoulda worn underwear.

(All photos: AP)

Oscars, Suburbarazzi-style: Ted and I predict the winners

oscar2.jpgThis Friday at 7:30 p.m. EST, Ted Mann and I will join TV reporter Karen DePodwin for a live RNN segment about Sunday’s Academy Awards. I’ll be wearing my tux for only the third time since my senior year in college, so the comedic value of that alone might be worth the tune-in. Here’s another preview of one of the topics slated for discussion. Click here to read the first preview.

We at Suburbarazzi like to make predictions, especially when they involve shiny glorified bowling trophies.

Notice, these Oscar picks are predictions, not necessarily our rooting interests. Let it be known that, with few exceptions, we often root for films, actors and crew members with connections to the Lower Hudson Valley (North Salem resident Alan Menken, New Rochelle resident Ruby Dee, et al.). Also, since I’ve shockingly seen none of the films scoring the major nominations, I’m just going to base my predictions on reviews, buzz and my gut feeling.

But hey, do you really think Oscar voters are any different? I swear, dart boards must have been mailed out with the screeners of “Ordinary People” back in 1980, because that’s the only logical reason why “Raging Bull” didn’t win Best Picture that year.

As a teaser, we won’t reveal the Oscar predictions of TV’s Karen DePodwin until she does so herself on Friday night. (By the way, how fun is it to refer to anyone as “TV’s [actual name]?” I say extremely.) But in the meantime, you’ll have to consider the predictions of Mr. Mann and me. Grain of salt not included.

Ted’s predictions:
Best Picture: “Juno�
Best Actor: Daniel Day Lewis, “There Will Be Blood�
Best Actress: Julie Christie, “Away from Her�
Best Supporting Actor: Hal Holbrook, “Into the Wild�
Best Supporting Actress: Tilda Swinton, “Michael Clayton�
Best Director: Joel and Ethan Coen, “No Country for Old Men�

Chris’ predictions:
Best Picture: “No Country for Old Men�
Best Actor: Daniel Day Lewis, “There Will Be Blood�
Best Actress: Ellen Page, “Juno�
Best Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem, “No Country for Old Men�
Best Supporting Actress: Ruby Dee, “American Gangster�
Best Director: Joel and Ethan Coen, “No Country for Old Men�

(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Oscars, Suburbarazzi-style: Local nominees and recent winners

oscar2.jpgThis Friday at 7:30 p.m. EST, Ted Mann and I will join TV reporter Karen DePodwin for a live RNN segment about Sunday’s Academy Awards. I’ll be wearing my tux for only the third time since my senior year in college, so the comedic value of that alone might be worth the tune-in. Here’s a preview of one of the topics slated for discussion.

Stars with a connection to the Lower Hudson Valley have done very well for themselves at the Oscars over the years, and 2008 is no exception.

Eight-time Oscar-winner Alan Menken, a New Rochelle native and North Salem resident, has been nominated three times for his songs from the Disney movie “Enchanted.” He took home his first two trophies for Best Song and Best Score for “The Little Mermaid,â€? and his most recent ones were in the same categories for songs from “Pocahontas.â€? In total, he’s been nominated for a whopping 18 Oscars, but hasn’t won one since 1996.

First-time nominee and sentimental favorite Ruby Dee, a New Rochelle resident, is nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her part in “American Gangster,” starring Mount Vernon native Denzel Washington and former Nyack dweller Russell Crowe — both of whom are Oscar-winners themselves.

LoHud also has at least two representatives in the Best Documentary/Short Subject category, including Ossining High School alumnus Francisco Bello (for “Salim Baba”) and former Croton-on-Hudson resident Cynthia Wade (for “Freeheld”).

After the break, check out a list of some other prominent current and former residents of the Lower Hudson Valley who have won or have been nominated for an Oscar in the last 30 years. Continue reading

Suburbarazzi Week in Review on RNN: Ruby’s win, Trump’s Scottish links, and the B-52’s return

Flash Video:

This week’s Quiz:

On one recent episode of an NYC-based TV dramedy, the characters debate heading up to Westchester to dine at the famous “Blue Hill at Stone Barns,� only to conclude it’s “too far.� Which show featured this storyline?

A. Lipstick Jungle
B. Cashmere Mafia
C. Dirty, Sexy, Money
D. 30 Rock

The answer is at the end of the clip and after the break.

Continue reading

Oscars say Ang Lee’s new Taiwanese film isn’t foreign enough

The Academy Awards just ruled that Ang Lee’s new film ‘Lust, Caution’ can’t enter the race for best foreign language film. And judging by recent reviews, that was probably its best shot at winning a statue.

As good as it’s supposed to be — and winning the Golden Lion award in Venice suggests it’s pretty damn solid — the NC-17 rating pretty much assures that it won’t have a shot at the regular best picture category. At least, not any more than “Tell Me You Love Me” — equally provactive, medium-core fare — has at winning a best drama Emmy (even though I’m totally rooting for it).

The Academy decided that not enough of the key crew members in Lee’s film were from Taiwan. I never realized there was such a cutoff. Sure, Lee himself may live in Larchmont now, and surely he used a lot of his usual Hollywood gang to shoot the film, but isn’t the fact that it was shot in the county, filmed in Mandarin, and used Taiwanese actors enough to qualify it as “foreign”?

According to the BBC, the acting director of the country’s government film department said, “We and Ang Lee are disappointed… this movie was also popular in Taiwan.” Taiwan’s Motion Picture and Drama Association has appealed the decision, but hasn’t heard back yet.

Exclusive! Isaac Mizrahi on LoHud, red carpets and Britney Spears

Before dishing the details behind his late-January car accident that fractured his hip, Isaac Mizrahi talked to Suburbarazzi about a wider range of topics during the same exclusive sit-down interview.

At the start of this Feb. 24 discussion at the Lord & Taylor branch in Eastchester, topics included his previous visit to LoHud territory, his thoughts on Hollywood stars who could use StriVectin (the anti-wrinkle cream he was pitching that day) and his genuine appreciation of Britney Spears. He also discussed why he doesn’t plan on doing any more red carpet analysis for the Oscars.

<blockquote><div>When was the last time you were in Westchester, Putnam or Rockland?

I know I came here with my mother when I was a kid, and it was this Lord & Taylor. This is sort of a real flagship Lord & Taylor. I know when I was a kid, I came here but that was probably the last time. But I have to say, on my way in, I was considering (the area), because it’s such a great alternative, because it only took an hour to get here.

So who in Hollywood in most in need of StriVectin?

(Laughs and “oohs� come from Mizrahi’s entourage and Lord & Taylor personnel.) I think a lot people in Hollywood have too much face work. I really do. I wish before they had the work done they had thought a little bit about the stretch mark cream. Because I think everybody (with plastic surgery) looks odd; I really do. First of all, I can tell usually that they’ve had the work done. I don’t know who they think they’re fooling.

Speaking of Hollywood, are you doing the red carpet (analysis at the Oscars)? </div></blockquote>

Find out Mizrahi’s answer, his favorite Hollywood red carpet fashionistas and his take on Britney Spears after the break.

Continue reading

Where to watch the Academy Awards

Since none of our local celebs made the Oscar cut this year, who knows, you might end up seeing them at one of the Academy Awards parties going on around the region. Here are just a couple:

tjndc5-5dmgybvcnnl17iyov9s1_layout.jpg• Jacob Burns Film Center: The “Hollywood East” party in Pleasantville will have light snacks, beer, wine, champagne, a dessert buffet, and a best dressed concert (pictured here is last year’s winner, Chappaqua resident Osi Herstik). There’ll also be a silent auction, with items including a poster of “The Girl with a Pearl Earing” signed by Scarlett Johansson. The winner of that lot will also get a complimentary fondling by Isaac Mizrahi ($60, 7:30 p.m., burnsfilmcenter.org)

• Reality Bites: At this Nyack restauratheater they’ll be passing out official ballots. You can pick your favorites — or just take our advice and vote for the nominees with local connections (e.g. Babel, co-produced by New City native Steve Golin). The winner will get a $50 gift certificate, 2nd place gets $25, 3rd place is you’re fired. Actually no, you get a bottle of wine. But I’m still hopeful that Stevie Baldwin will show up and deliver that line like his big bro, Alec (9 p.m.; realitybites.net).

(Photo: Burns Film Center)

A completely LoHud-centric guide to the Oscars

tjndc5-5dmf8sdtm4gx1k3277v_layout.jpgWe all know that 2006 was a down year for Lower Hudson Valley filmmakers at the Academy Awards. Few of the nominees have local roots, much less a connection to the region. Put simply, there’s no Ang Lee (Larchmont resident) or Matt Dillon (Mamaroneck native) to root for.

But hey, what fun are the awards if you can’t impose a little solipsistic order onto them? To wit, I present you with the nominees that have the best (read: most tenuous, but still kind of legit) connections to Westchester, Rockland, and Putnam. With the exception of Sasha Baron Cohen, who must win in the Best Adapted Screenplay category, these are the guys to root for.

BEST PICTURE<br />Babel: The movie was co-produced by New City native Steve Golin.

BEST ACTOR<br />Leonardo DiCaprio (“Blood Diamond”): Played Bronxville native Frank W. Abagnale onscreen and filmed parts of “Catch Me If You Can” in Yonkers.

BEST ACTRESS<br />Meryl Streep (“The Devil Wears Prada”): Has appeared at functions at the Jacob Burns Film Center.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR<br />Mark Wahlberg (“The Departed”): Cast Mamaroneck native Kevin Dillion in “Entourage,” the HBO comedy series based loosely on his life.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS<br />Rinko Kikuchi (“Babel”): Psych! I really got nothin for this category.

BEST DIRECTOR<br />Martin Scorsese (“The Departed”): Filmed some scenes from “The Departed” in White Plains. Not sure exactly which ones, but I never question IMDB.

BEST ART DIRECTION, CINEMATOGRAPHY, ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY, ORIGINAL SCORE, MAKEUP, and FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM<br />Pan’s Labyrinth: The movie is being put out by Picturehouse, the new mini-major studio helmed by Bronxville’s Bob Berney

SOUND MIXING and SOUND EDITING<br />Flags of Our Fathers: Stars Pelham native Joseph Cross

VISUAL EFFECTS<br />Poseidon: Stars the aforementioned Kevin Dillon

(AP Photo/Reed Saxon)